New Delhi: Noted vocalist Girija Devi, renowned classical dancer Nataraja Ramakrishna, dhrupad maestro Rahimuddin Dagar and mridangam exponent T.K. Murthy were honoured with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships here Friday.
Besides this, 36 artists were presented Akademi Awards for 2010 by Vice President Hamid Ansari and Culture Minister Selja. The four Akademi fellows received a purse of Rs.300,000 each while the winners of the Sangeet Natak awards Rs.100,000.
Some of the recipients of the coveted awards include Chhanu Lal Mishra and Yashpaul for Hindustani vocal music, Budhaditya Mukherjee for sitar, Mysore Nagamani Srinath for Carnatic vocal, Malabika Mitra for Kathak dance, Kalamandalam Kombil Gopala Vasudevan Nair for Kathakali, Uttara Asha Coorlawala for creative and experimental dance, Swatilekha Sengupta for theatre, Harbhajan Singh Namdhari for Gurbani Kirtan of Punjab, Nazeer Ahmad Khan Warsi and Naseer Ahmad Khan Warsi for Qawwali and Dwijen Mukherjee for Rabindrasangeet.
Ashok D. Ranade was honoured with the award for scholarship in music while Jaidev Taneja for his overall contribution to theatre.
Addressing the gathering, Selja said the Sangeet Natak Akademi has recently taken steps to set up the National Audio-Visual Archives in Delhi.
These archives will help to conserve an important part of India's intangible cultural heritage for posterity, she said.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi also runs a museum of musical instruments, Selja said.
"But I doubt that just one such museum would be sufficient. I understand that the working group of the ministry for the 12th Plan is working on setting such a museum in each zone of the country and I look forward to the establishment of such museums across the country," she said.
Selja said her "ministry has also received requests for the creation of an Artists Welfare Fund".
"The ministry has a scheme to provide financial assistance to artists in indigent circumstances, which has been recently modified to provide a higher level of assistance to artists in dire financial straits. The proposal for establishing an Artist Welfare Fund is being worked upon and the ministry is holding stakeholder consultations. It will soon give a final shape to the proposal," she added.